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Farm and business managers have a new resource for employee management help. Ag Workforce Development, owned and led by Dr. Richard Stup, is a new business focused on helping farmers and ag businesses build high-performing and motivated teams. People are the most important resource for success today, no business can succeed without the right people to make it happen.

Rich keeps the focus on business results: high production of quality products and services, satisfied customers, increasing sales, lower cost of production. These essential business results can all be achieved with organized and motivated employees. Highly engaged employees and low turnover of the best employees are also important goals for long term success.

How do businesses get these results? “Leading and organizing people can’t be accomplished with a cookie cutter approach,” Stup says. “I work with the managers and key people to understand their goals, strengths, and weaknesses, then we design a custom approach that will work for them. It’s usually some combination of organizing the business, planning, training, and coaching. One powerful method is to meet with the management team to do customized development of their leadership skills while at the same time working on real business challenges that they are facing now. My approach builds leaders who organize teams, get results, and continue to become more effective.”

Recently, Donny Bartch, owner of Merrimart Farms, worked with Ag Workforce Development to upgrade their human resource management program. Bartch said, “Our farm and business has grown over the years. We continue to hire more employees and they have less farm experience. It was becoming harder to consistently train and educate employees on our policies and tasks. We decided we needed a concrete plan to introduce our policies and reinforce our training. Rich was able to develop a solid employee handbook and job descriptions that focused on general ideas while breaking down into specific applications on our farm. Rich was also able to produce visual aids for routine jobs at our farm. The visual aids are a silent reminder for each employee as they learn their new jobs. Finally we worked on pay scales and related benefit plans, to give more consistency within our workforce. When we started the project it looked very daunting, but Rich simplified the process and took a lot of the leg work out of it for me. Human Resources was something I knew we needed to address but never wanted to tackle it on my own. Rich provided the expertise and guidance I was looking for.”

Richard Stup has over 20 years of experience focusing on leadership and organization development with farms and large agribusinesses, he knows the people side of agriculture. Businesses wanting to improve leadership and results should schedule a free consultation by contacting Richard Stup directly at (570) 939-5081 or Learn more about Ag Workforce Development through their website at “”.